Farmland preservation policies in China and their impacts on urban expansion: a multilevel analysis

Taiyang Zhong, Wei Zheng, Yuntai Zhao, Yu Zhang, Xianjin Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Downloads (Pure)


There has been limited research examining the impact of the top-down and quota-oriented farmland preservation policies on urban land expansion at the city level in China. This paper aims to narrow this gap, particularly focusing on the policies of prime farmland preservation quota and farmland conversion quota. A multilevel modeling approach was applied to examine the effects. The findings suggest that the two policies had limited effects. The limited effect of the two policies is rooted in the gaps between planning policy-making and implementation. Specifically, prefecture-level city-biased allocation of conversion and preservation quotas led to less restrictions on prefecture-level cities. The decoupling of annual quotas and land use planned quotas undermined the controlling effects on urban land expansion. Also, farmland conversion quotas incorporated into new plans were inconsistent. Additionally, insufficient capacity to monitor policy implementation, especially for prime farmland use, considerably weakened the potential effects.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Early online date18 Feb 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Feb 2021


Dive into the research topics of 'Farmland preservation policies in China and their impacts on urban expansion: a multilevel analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this